Broadcasters getting into podcasting are taking the old upfront formula to this distribution style. Upfronts are a demonstration style, typically aimed at advertisers, as way to show off what’s coming down the pipe. And, in this case …
The variety of companies that were brought on-stage collectively offered a broad range of content types — thus broadening the narrative of what podcasts are and what podcasts can be. As much as I absolutely enjoyed the original April upfront, I was bothered by how that event (and its importance of being the first of its kind) extended the view of the podcasting as principally the domain of highly-produced, narrative storytelling. (The overwhelming legacy of Serial, which is almost universally present in the first paragraph of just about every general-audience article written about podcasting, already skews the medium’s identity in this regard.)
But it does set a tone for expectations among Big Advertising, especially now when the industry is in its formative stages. It cultivates certain norms, standards, and structures that could raise the barrier for other types or genres of podcasts to thrive.
Norms and standards and structures would eliminate some of the anything goes mentality. Anything can still go, but we’ve proven to be creatures that fundamentally respond to habit — or formula, if you prefer — in our media consumption.
What will that mean for your podcast? Will you adopt? Rebel? Wait and see?